Dear visitors of our Transparent Town web page,

Too many a time we come across media scandals regarding corruption and non-transparent handling of public finances and assets. For a long time I had considered a project that would be truly transparent in all areas of self-government administration and not just some, as a few municipalities have already tried. Holes in the fence, which should act as a legal protective barrier for municipalities from corruption, are so large they allow predators to slip through with full pockets without breaking any laws. It permits them to be untouchable. For the town, to which I am the Mayor, I wanted a project that would not only repair a single hole in the fence but a project that would be an inspiration to other municipalities and for the whole country as well. Thanks to experience and professional assistance from Transparency International Slovensko, we, as first in Slovakia, have managed to launch a complex package of anti-corruption measures. These make our municipality fully transparent; they also minimize the corruption on all administration levels. Simply, this project gives no opportunity to corruption.

I do not know about you but words can only persuade me to a certain extent. I then look for actual proofs that confirm the statement. And such proof about the handling of the trust placed into our hands by citizens of the town of Martin in last elections can be found on our project web page. Everybody can see that when the town of Martin is selling, renting, recruiting employees or handling invoices, it is done so with transparency.

As an example, I will mention a purchase of services and goods. Anybody can apply for a contract with the town and thus participate in our electronic auction house. All steps of the public procurement are made publicly. This means that everybody can easily find information on tender calls, process of ongoing and closed transactions, read a concluded contract with a winner of an electronic auction, or check an invoice with an actual sum of money paid by the town to the contactor 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The same process is followed when recruiting new employees, social housing allocation, making of town laws or voting by the Town Council members.

Another factor that motivated me to implement the anti-corruption measures was the amount of disadvantageous contracts I had inherited as a Mayor from my forerunners. I do not want anything similar to be repeated again in Martin. I do not want any future town leaders to ever have to deal with interminable contracts as we have to do now. That is why I personally proposed to limit my statutory competences in order not to be able, as a Mayor, to sign inexpedient contracts behind “closed doors“.

The transparency is not only about auditing matters that have already happened. Our project enables to oversee and directly check our steps before they are approved and realized. Thus, a citizen can truly participate in public affairs. Thanks to the project, a citizen may not only overlook what is happening but can also annotate andWhen in the beginning I mentioned corruption scandals in media, it is not an accident that the town of Martin is not part of them. It is a result of hard work we have done when developing our project of the Transparent Town. Week by week I hear positive response to it and my belief that one day our project will become a guide for other self-government administrations and for the country as well is becoming a reality. Our project is a guideline for many municipalities and also our government.

Dear readers, I here would like to appeal to you to help fulfill the meaning of the Transparent Town project. The tools we have in the town of Martin to directly and transparently check our elected officials would lose its sense if you did not use them. It is up to you to regularly visit the web page of our transparent town. It will allow you to see how we manage the trust and competences placed into our hands.